Margaret, Lady Hoby's diary is the first surviving journal written by a woman in the English language. She was born Margaret Dakins, the only child and heiress of Arthur Dakins, a landed gentleman, and his wife, Thomasine Gye, in the East Riding of Yorkshire. She was sent to be raised in the household of Katherine Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon, a common custom among the English gentry. Margaret was married firstly to Walter Devereux, son of the first Earl of Essex and Lettice Knollys. After he died in 1591, her second husband was Sir Thomas Sidney, brother of the poets Sir Philip Sidney and Lady Mary Sidney Herbert. A year after his death, in 1596, she married Sir Thomas Posthumous Hoby, a Puritan politician and Member of Parliament. Margaret, Lady Hoby's diary covers a six-year period from 1599 to 1605, and vividly portrays everyday life in Tudor and early Jacobean England. The diary was published in 1930.